“Don’t cry, mama,” she softly said—
“Here’s a Christmas gift for you,”
And on the mother’s cheek a kiss
She printed warm and true.
“God bless my child!” the mother cried
And caught her to her breast—
“O Lord, whose Son was crucified,
Thy precious gift is best.
“If toil and trouble be my lot
While on life’s sea I drift,
O Lord, my soul shall murmur not,
If Thou wilt spare Thy gift.”
OUT OF THE DEPTHS
And the scribes and Pharisees brought unto him a woman taken in adultery, and when they had set her in the midst, they said unto him “Master, this woman was taken in adultery, in the very act. Now Moses in the law commanded us that such be stoned; but what sayest thou?”—[St. John, Chap, viii; 3, 4, 5.
Reach thy hand to me, O Jesus;
Reach thy loving hand to me,
Or I sink, alas, and perish
In my sin and agony.
From the depths I cry, O Jesus,
Lifting up mine eyes to thee;
Save me from my sin and sorrow
With thy loving charity.
Pity, Jesus—blessed Savior;
I am weak, but thou art strong;
Fill my heart with prayer and praises,
Fill my soul with holy song.
Lift me up, O sacred Jesus—
Lift my bruised heart to thee;
Teach me to be pure and holy
As the holy angels be.
Scribes and Pharisees surround me:
Thou art writing in the sand:
Must I perish, Son of Mary?
Wilt thou give the stern command?
Am I saved?—for Jesus sayeth—
“Let the sinless cast a stone.”
Lo the Scribes have all departed,
And the Pharisees are gone!
“Woman, where are thine accusers?”
(They have vanished one by one.)
“Hath no man condemned thee, woman?”
And she meekly answered—“None.”
Then he spake His blessed answer—
Balm indeed for sinners sore—
“Neither then will I condemn thee:
Go thy way and sin no more.”
Dust of the desert are thy walls
And temple-towers, O Babylon!
O’er crumbled halls the lizard crawls,
And serpents bask in blaze of sun.
In vain kings piled the Pyramids;
Their tombs were robbed by ruthless hands.
Who now shall sing their fame and deeds,
Or sift their ashes from the sands?
Deep in the drift of ages hoar
Lie nations lost and kings forgot;
Above their graves the oceans roar,
Or desert sands drift o’er the spot.
A thousand years are but a day
When reckoned on the wrinkled earth;
And who among the wise shall say
What cycle saw the primal birth
Of man, who lords on sea and land,
And builds his monuments to-day,
Like Syrian on the desert sand,
To crumble and be blown away.
Proud chiefs of pageant armies led
To fame and death their followers forth,
Ere Helen sinned and Hector bled,
Or Odin ruled the rugged North.